Oct 3, 2012 11:35pm PDT
mostly to the moderator, jim lehrer of pbs. >> we still have trillion dollar deficits. the cbo says we'll have a trillion dollar deficit each of the next four years. >> reporter: these two men, they are virtually strangers to each other personally. they've only met in person three times before tonight. most recently, in passing, on a debate stage in new hampshire way back in 2008, when republicans followed democrats in debate three days before the primaries. and there was this brief encounter on the campaign trail in 2007. >> good luck to you today. >> reporter: and while they have both reached the pinnacle of party politics, they are so different. their talents and their paths to power and their debate styles. so much at stake on that stage tonight. this showdown comes at what might be the critical moment in this campaign. a hinge of political history. polls show the race tightening, just 34 days left in this campaign. and you can already sense in the crowds the special energy of the home stretch. but tonight, surprisingly, and in contrast to the daily scrap on the trail, no zingers,
Oct 4, 2012 5:30pm PDT
like pbs, i love big bird. i actually like you, too. but i'm not going to spend money on things to borrow money from china to pay for. >> reporter: a wide opening, but the president took more than 14 hours to come up with a comeback. >> thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on big bird. it's about time. >> reporter: many top democrats suggest that one of the problems, maybe one common to incumbents, the president has lived in a bubble for four years, surrounded by adulation, rarely challenged. the campaign today acknowledged they were going to conduct a reassessment before the next debate. diane? >> all right, thank you, jake. and what about governor romney and his day? abc's david muir traveling with the governor in virginia. david? >> reporter: diane, great to see you from virginia. mitt romney expected to appear here just moments from now, and beside him, paul ryan, taking a break from his own debate prep to celebrate romney's debate last night. tonight, new questions about whether or not romney is trying to modify his message a bit with that much larger audience.